Attorney: Soldier says he's innocent of espionage

Last Updated: Sun, Nov 06, 2011 21:31 hrs

The lawyer representing an Alaska-based soldier arrested on suspicion of espionage said Friday that his client told him he is innocent.

Steve Karns, of Dallas, said he spoke with Spc. William Colton Millay of Owensboro, Ky., by phone and his 22-year-old client came across as a simple country boy who "seems like a really good kid."

"He doesn't sound like he has a malicious bone in his body or malevolent intent," Karns said.

He declined to discuss the actual case against Millay, a military police officer at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage. Millay was arrested Oct. 28 in an ongoing investigation conducted by the U.S. Army and the FBI.

No information was ever transmitted by Millay and he was being observed before any damage could have occurred, according to Army officials.

The Army doesn't expect to file charges until early next week, Lt. Col. Bill Coppernoll said Friday afternoon. The Army initially said charges would be filed by Friday.

Karns said it sounds like the allegations are attempted espionage. Charges are expected to be filed through the military justice system.

The Army has released few details about the case, even to Karns, according to the attorney.

"They're still holding their cards pretty close to the chest," he said.

The FBI also has said little.

Officials said there is no connection with the case involving Army analyst Bradley Manning, who is suspected of disclosing secret intelligence to WikiLeaks. Unlike the WikiLeaks case, allegations against Millay do "not involve the transfer of data on computer networks," Coppernoll said earlier this week.

Since his arrest, Millay has been in custody without bail at the Anchorage Correctional Complex.

His father, Byron Kevin Millay, has said he was not at liberty to discuss the case. He referred questions to Karns, who has defended military members in criminal prosecutions and other matters. Karns said William Millay's parents retained him Thursday.

Millay is assigned to the 164th Military Police Company. Most members of that company are on a year deployment to Afghanistan that began in March, but Millay was in the company's rear detachment that stayed behind.

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